Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in December, 2013

Congratulations Mazda, you win the worst commercial of 2013!

Their current ad in which Mazda attempts to wrap their blatant sales pitch with Danny Thomas and the heroic efforts of St. Jude Children’s Hospital is an obvious choice for this year’s award.

Let’s start with the use of the song “Home’, while a great song it is long past the saturation point.

More substantively, the commercial intones that for every test drive a Mazda employee will work an hour in their community.  Sounds good, of course if Mazda is living by the credo of giving back they are commercializing something they are aleady doing.

More importantly, Mazda must be referring to employees of dealers working that hour since Mazda no longer manufactures any of their vehicles in America. Mazda moved the last of it’s vehicle production to Mexico last year.  So while this spot with the catchy music and links to a worthy charity look good on the surface it really seems to be saying Mazda thinks Americans are great when they are consumers but not worthy of actually producing the company’s products.

If Mazda really wants to give back to America, bring production back to the USA, hire some Americans, support local small businesses, and help an American community.  Giving respect gets respect.  Until Mazda is prepared to do more than provide lip service spare us the cynical ads about helping “give back” to America.

As Aretha Franklin says in this 1990 performance, R-E-S-P-E-C-T,  I’ll show you what it means to me!

Photo: Good question. </p><br /><br />
<p>Thanks to The Bitchy Pundit.

Media Matters has revealed their Misinformer of the Year award and the winner is CBS News/60 Minutes.

“It is, to put it mildly, surprising that 60 Minutes did not check this discrepancy before broadcast” — former Meet The Press host Marvin Kalb.

Even now, nearly two months after it aired, almost nothing about CBS News’ “exclusive” (and infamous) 60 Minutes report on Benghazi makes sense. From conception, to execution, to the network’s stubborn claims that the report met its high standards even as it publicly dissolved, the story on the Benghazi terror attack of 2012 quickly became a case study in how not to practice journalism on the national stage. And in how dangerous it is to lose sight of fair play and common sense when wielding the power and prestige of the country’s most-watched news program.

The 60 Minutes Benghazi hoax had it all: a flimsy political premise featuring previously debunked myths, a correspondent with an established agenda, a blinding corporate conflict of interest, and an untrustworthy “witness” who apparently fabricated his story and had once reportedly asked a journalist to pay him for his information. (The fact that the CBS Benghazi report was widely hyped by an array of chronically inaccurate conservative media outlets represented another obvious red flag.)

When the Benghazi hoax first began to reveal itself, a chorus of veteran journalists agreed that CBS had a pressing problem on its hands and that executives needed to address the mounting crisis. Instead CBS for days, led by 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan and news chairman Jeff Fager, defended the truly indefensible, until that became unfeasible.

Today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch features this editorial about Secretary of State Jason Kander’s effort to drag Missouri into this century and make it easier for Show-Me state residents to vote.

Here’s a development that we didn’t see coming: 2013 will be the year that voting in Missouri became easier.

In fact, the opposite would have been more likely, as Missouri Republicans seemed intent on making it harder for a wide swath of Democratic-leaning voters (such as the poor, women, Hispanics, blacks and the disabled) to exercise their constitutional right to participate in the political process.

Every year, Missouri Republicans propose unconstitutional voter identification laws based on the fantasy that voter impersonation fraud is rampant. And every year the efforts either fall short, are vetoed or tossed by the courts.

But last week, Secretary of State Jason Kander presented Missourians with an unexpected Christmas gift. The Democrat made it possible for state residents to register to vote. You simply go online and do it.

Imagine that.

Mr. Kander’s new website, (www.sos.mo.gov/votemissouri) allows voters to either update their existing registration if they’ve moved, or start the process from scratch.

“In this day and age, people just expect a certain amount of convenience whether they are dealing with state government or anything else,” Mr. Kander told us.

You have to check out this  video of some union-hating, strike-bustin’ thugs as they discuss their working conditions and what they should do about them.

PBS Newshour is running a special on inequality in America.  This policy – made situation will be made worse by Congress’ decision not to renew unemployment insurance for the long term unemployed.  Up to 1.3 million people that did not cause the economic crisis will now pay for it by having their unemployment benefits cut off starting today.

Not to worry says Rand Paul losing benefits is really a service to these folks.  This is summarized by Calvin Trillin of The Nation magazine in this poem.

You don’t know how you’ll ever feed the kids
Without the benefits? You’re getting nervous?
Well, worry not. You heard what Rand Paul said:
A cutoff’s really doing you a service.

Sometimes a blog post practically writes itself.  This is one of those times.

It seems our Lt. Governor, Republican Peter Kinder is out satisfying his backers from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)  by talking up the prospects for Right-to-Work in Missouri.  Here’s his pitch:

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder predicts the House and Senate will pass a plan to allow Missouri voters to decide the issue on the November 2014 ballot.

“Passage is assured in the House, the votes are there in the Senate, and I believe we stand an excellent chance at making this progress for Missouri in 2014,” he said Monday.

Kinder argues that the strength of Missouri’s labor unions is causing the state to fall behind economically.

“Missouri is surrounded, six of our eight neighboring states are right-to-work states,” he said. “When I was growing up in southeast Missouri, Tennessee was not ahead of Missouri in any economic indicator. They are today.”

Is that true?  Is Tennessee a booming economy, a place of low unemployment and jobs that go begging due to their Right-to-Worse law?  Should Missouri follow their path and reduce wages for union and non-union workers throughout the state to bring more jobs and lower unemployment?

One way to check Mr. Kinder’s statmement would be to look at the economic indicators, in particular the unemployment rate.  Here they are from November, 2013, the last month numbers are available.

Tennessee Unemployment

According to the BLS current population survey (CPS), the unemployment rate for Tennessee fell 0.4 percentage points in November 2013 to 8.1%. The state unemployment rate was 1.1 percentage points higher than the national rate for the month. The unemployment rate in Tennessee peaked in June 2009 at 11.0% and is now 2.9 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 7.6% in December 2012, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.5 percentage points. You can also see Tennessee unemployment compared to other states.

Unemployment Rate

November 2013

Month/Month

Year/Year

National 7.0% -0.3 -0.8
Tennessee 8.1% -0.4 +0.4

 

 Missouri Unemployment

According to the BLS current population survey (CPS), the unemployment rate for Missouri fell 0.4 percentage points in November 2013 to 6.1%. The state unemployment rate was 0.9 percentage points lower than the national rate for the month. The unemployment rate in Missouri peaked in June 2009 at 9.6% and is now 3.5 percentage points lower. You can also see Missouri unemployment compared to other states.

Unemployment Rate

November 2013

Month/Month

Year/Year

National 7.0% -0.3 -0.8
Missouri 6.1% -0.4 -0.5

Mr. Kinder must get his economic indicators from ALEC or has a different definition of progress.  The numbers above show Tennessee with unemployment a whole percentage point higher then the national average and two points higher than Missouri!

Meanwile, Missouri has an unemployment rate a whole point lower than the national average and two points less than Tennessee!  Missourians also have a per capita income that’s $1,300 more than Tennessee.

A quick look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that if Missouri’s unemploument rate was as high as Tennessee there wuld be 60,244 more unemployed Missourians.  Of course, that would mean more pressure to lower wages with all those people looking for work allowing employers to use the hammer of job insecurity on Missourians that still have a job.  That must be progress in Lt. Governor Kinder’s mind.

In the real world, Governor Nixon will stand ready with his veto pen and the voters of Missouri will vote down any attempt to make their jobs more insecure and wages lower.

Jo Mannies of the Beacon have this story about Missouri’s Minimum Wage increasing 15 cents on Jan. 1, 2014.  This help to thousands of Missourians was possible because of you, the voter that supported this issue at the ballot box in 2006.

If we can keep politicians like Paul Curtman from erasing your vote the wage will increase with inflation.

Missouri’s minimum wage will increase on Jan. 1 to $7.50 an hour — 25 cents higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Missouri’s minimum wage is increasing by 15 cents an hour, compared to 2012, because of an escalator clause in the 2006 state law – overwhelmingly approved by voters – that allowed for separate increases in the state’s wage law, rather than linking it to the federal wage.

For tipped employees, the new minimum wage is going up 12 cents, to $3.75 an hour.

An analysis of census data by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute estimated that the state’s increase will benefit about 104,000 Missouri workers.

Missouri is among 12 states that will increase their minimum wage on Jan. 1. Also as of New Year’s Day, 21 states will have minimum wages above the national level. The federal minimum wage can be increased only by legislation. The last federal hike was approved by Congress in 2007.

If you have ever wanted to know exactly where your jeans and clothes come from, both fiber and manufacture, check out this report from ABC News about All American Clothing.  One click and you can tell which farmer grew the fiber that your clothes are made of!

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